The end of the HomeBuilder scheme in March has taken a toll on new home sales, according to the latest report from the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
The number of new home sales declined by 54.4% in April. Despite being well below recent peaks, sales in the month were just 2.7% lower than the average month prior to the COVID-19 shock.
Sales declined across the five biggest states, with South Australia posting the largest decline at 71.7%, followed by Queensland (65.6%), Victoria (65.4%), New South Wales (22.4%), and Western Australia (15.2%).
Angela Lillicrap, economist at HIA, said the results for April remain encouraging despite the dip.
"It suggests that there is a significant volume of new homes to be built for customers not eligible for HomeBuilder," she said.
Lillicrap said the housing market in 2020 was heavily impacted by COVID-19, which makes it difficult to compare sales figure in the current year to last year's. However, when compared to 2019 — which was considered a "normal year" — sales were higher than their monthly averages.
"The demographic shift in population towards regional locations and low interest rates will continue to drive demand for new homes over the months to come, albeit at a level well below recent peaks," she said.
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